HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – The episode 61g flow was still active over the weekend, entering the ocean at Kamokuna and also crawling along the coastal plain.
Out on the ocean, the guides aboard the Kalapana Cultural Tours boat got a good look at the lava fire hose pouring into the sea. The stream of lava appeared a little smaller but is still going strong.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reiterated its warning to ocean entry visitors in its daily eruption update today.
As a strong caution to visitors viewing the ocean entry (where lava meets the sea), there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. This occurred most recently on December 31. Further collapses of the sea cliff have been occurring since then, most recently on February 11. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Meanwhile, the flow field continues to host weak surface breakouts on the coastal plain less than 0.6 miles upslope from the FEMA emergency road. John Tarson of Epic Lava Tours recorded some of the activity over the weekend.
USGS reported this morning that other surface flows were active on the pali farther inland.
None of these flows pose a threat to nearby communities at this time, scientists say.